After throwing for just 77 yards in a 10–3 loss to the New England Patriots, New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson was asked if he felt he had let down the defense; he said “no.”
Well, that word pushed the Jets over the edge to the point where they are benching the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
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Wilson spoke to reporters on Wednesday, fully owning not only their questionable comments but also their poor move.
“It’s hard, man, it’s never fun,” Wilson said when asked about losing his job. “But the first thing that came to mind was: ‘I have to get to work. I have to improve’. I’ll get closer to that every day, just keep working to get better.”
Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters Wednesday that Wilson wasn’t enthusiastic about the decision, but the quarterback himself admitted he wasn’t surprised.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say surprised, because I haven’t been doing my job. Of course, I would like to disagree with the decision and all that, but it’s just that I have to play better.” he said.
Mike White will start Sunday against the Chicago Bears (and Justin Fields, who the Jets traded for Wilson), but Saleh hopes it’s temporary.
“Zach’s career here is not over. I know that’s going to be the narrative, I know that’s what everyone wants to shout about and that’s not even close to the case,” Saleh said. via SNY. “The intent, the full intent, is to make sure Zach gets back on the football field at some point this year. When that happens, I’ll make that decision and I’ll make it day by day.”
JETS’ ZACH WILSON STAYED ON THE BENCH AHEAD OF THE BEARS GAME AFTER AN ATROWIOUS PERFORMANCE VS. PATRIOTS
Wilson’s post-game comments were not well received in the locker room: Saleh even admitted there was “irritability” among the other 52 players. The 22-year-old quarterback addressed the team and apologized, acknowledging that the criticism he received about a lack of leadership was “deserved.”
“The way I handled the situation was not correct. I have to be a better football player and then I have to be a better leader for these guys,” Wilson said. “I have the opportunity to turn the page here as a player and as a leader to be able to step up and be able to be here 100% for my guys and be able to handle the situation correctly.”
Wilson also said addressing his companions “It was the only thing I could think about in the last few days,” and he wants to move on from the mistake.
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“I’m just looking forward to the future and from this event how I can grow as a person, as a leader, as a teammate to be there for my guys and handle things the right way. This is going to be a good opportunity. , a humbling opportunity for me to put my head down and work harder.”
Wilson will be inactive on Sunday: Joe Flacco will be the backup.